Germany coach Joachim Low reveals he was shocked by Mesut Ozil's retirement decision

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Germany head coach Joachim Low has revealed that he was surpised by Mesut Ozil‘s decision to retire from international football by surprise.

Low was enjoying a holiday in Sardinia when news of the 29-year old’s retirement came, and he only found out when Ozil posted statements on Twitter and Instagram.

“Neither the national coach nor I were informed in advance,” Low’s agent Harun Arslan confirmed to German daily Bild.

The Arsenal midfielder had cited “racism and disrespect” as reasons for his retirement while also targeting the president of the German FA, Reinhard Grindel.

“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil, who has Turkish roots, wrote in his lengthy farewell statement.

ozil 1

The German Football Association (DFB) had denied Ozil’s claims on Monday. However, its image was tarnished.

In a survey of 5,000 Germans, that was conducted soon after the saga unfolded, by t-online.de, 49.7 per cent said Grindel should resign over the saga.

Ozil admitted that he won’t wear the German jersey now after the furore caused by the picture with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the eve of the World Cup, as Grindel did not come to his rescue amidst all the criticism.

After Germany’s early exit from the World Cup in Russia, following a 2-0 defeat to South Korea, many pundits had put the onus on Ozil.

A World Cup winner in 2014 though, Ozil is walking away after nine years as one of Low’s most trusted players.

He has scored 23 goals and provided 40 assists in 92 appearances for Germany, and his loss is a big blow to Low, who deployed him as his main playmaker.

Germany’s first game after the World Cup disappointment is against world champions France in the new Nations League tournament on September 6 in Munich.

And with Ozil now gone, Low will have to find his replacement.

Paris Saint-Germain’s Julian Draxler or Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus could be the leading candidates.

Meanwhile, Ozil’s team-mates have wished him well on his career with the German squad.

“Mesut Abi (‘brother’ in Turkish), your technique on the ball has opened the door to the national team for players like me,” Draxler wrote on his Instagram account.

“Thank you for everything you’ve done for German football. You can be proud of your many achievements.”

However, there are some who who don’t see Ozil’s retirement as a great loss for Germany.

“He has not put in performances that can help the national team over the last 18 months to two years, nor was he convincing at the World Cup in his two outings,” ex-Germany captain Lothar Matthaus told Sky Sports.

“Now there is the chance for a younger, maybe even a better player” to come into the Germany side, Matthaus added.

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German football association denies allegations of racism after Mesut Ozil exit

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Mesut Ozil accused the DFB of racism in a statement on Sunday.

The German Football Association has expressed regret over Mesut Ozil‘s decision to retire from international football, but denied any allegations of racism towards the Arsenal midfielder.

Ozil, 29, won the World Cup with Germany four years ago, but was also part of Joachim Low’s squad which failed to progress from the group stages of the 2018 tournament in Russia.

In a lengthy statement posted on Twitter on Sunday evening, Ozil – a third-generation Turkish-German who was born in Gelsenkirchen – accused the German Football Association of treating him with “racism and disrespect”.

Ozil claimed German FA (DFB) chiefs wanted him “out of the team” before the start of the World Cup, due to the emergence of a photograph featuring him with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The picture led to criticism of Ozil in Germany. According to the player, only the intervention of head coach Low and team manager Oliver Bierhoff ensured he would then take part in Russia.

Ozil, who won 92 caps for Germany, also revealed he and his family had received hate mail and threatening phone calls and been subjected to social media abuse.

In an extensive statement of its own on Monday afternoon – coming after the DFB had spoken to Ozil, who is on a pre-season tour to Singapore with Arsenal – the governing body paid tribute to the midfielder’s contribution, but also moved to reject any suggestions of racism.

The DFB said Ozil had made a “decisive contribution” to the 2014 World Cup triumph in Brazil and praised his “outstanding performance in the jersey of the German national teams”.

The governing body, though, stressed its integration work was “of central importance at all levels”. It said: “We play and live together with our different family roots, our religions and cultures.”

However, the DFB felt the photo of Ozil, who was pictured along with Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, had “raised questions for many people in Germany” and that “it was important to us that he explained it”.

The DFB stressed it “would have been happy” if Ozil wanted to remain part of the national team set-up.

While not wanting to make public comment on some of Ozil’s statements from his Twitter post, the governing body said it “emphatically” rejected any suggestions of racism within the organisation.

“For many years, the DFB has been heavily involved in integration work in Germany,” the statement said.

The statement continued: “The DFB stands for diversity, from the representatives at the top to the countless, day-by-day dedicated people at the base.

“The DFB regrets the departure of Mesut Ozil from the national team. However, this does not change the determination of the association to continue the successful integration work consistently and with deep conviction.”

Ozil has received plenty of support on social media following Sunday’s announcement, including from his Arsenal team-mate Hector Bellerin.

Nevertheless, Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, who won the World Cup with West Germany in 1974, accused Ozil of producing “crap” performances for years when representing the national team.

London-based equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out, though, said the treatment Ozil received over the last two months was “reflective of the experience of a number of footballers across Europe from mixed heritage backgrounds”.

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Mesut Ozil slammed by Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness

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Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has accused Mesut Ozil of producing bad performances for Germany for years after the Arsenal midfielder announced his retirement from international football.

Ozil, 29, won the World Cup with Germany four years ago, but was also part of Joachim Low‘s squad which failed to progress from the group stages of the 2018 tournament in Russia.

In a lengthy statement posted on Twitter on Sunday evening, Ozil – a third-generation Turkish-German who was born in Gelsenkirchen – accused the German football Association of treating him with “racism and disrespect”.

Ozil claimed German FA (DFB) chiefs wanted him “out of the team” before the tournament, due to the emergence of a photograph featuring him with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The picture led to criticism of Ozil in Germany. According to the player, only the intervention of head coach Low and team manager Oliver Bierhoff ensured he would then take part at the World Cup.

Ozil, who won 92 caps for Germany, also revealed he and his family had received hate mail and threatening phone calls and been subjected to social media abuse.

Uli Hoeness

Nevertheless, Bayern president Hoeness, who won the World Cup with West Germany in 1974, found little sympathy with the midfielder when asked for his views on Ozil’s decision.

Quoted by German newspaper Bild, Hoeness said: “I’m glad this nightmare is over. He has been playing crap for years.

“The last tackle he won was before the 2014 World Cup – and now he is hiding himself and his poor performances behind this photo.”

Hoeness also hit out at the support shown to Ozil on social media following Sunday’s announcement.

“His 35million followers, that of course do not actually exist in the real world, believe that Ozil has played exceptionally when he successfully finds his man with a square ball.”

Arsenal team-mate Hector Bellerin, however, offered full backing to Ozil, who is away with the Gunners squad on a pre-season tour to Singapore.

The defender wrote on Twitter: “Surreal that someone who has done so much for his country on and off the pitch has been treated with such disrespect.

“Well done @MesutOzil1088 for standing up to this behaviour!”

The DFB has yet to make any official comment.

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